Guyana: Ministry of Health Launches Hepatitis C Treatment Programme
To commemorate World Hepatitis Day 2022, the Ministry of Health officially launched a programme which will facilitate the free treatment of persons diagnosed with Hepatitis C this afternoon at the Guyana Marriot Hotel.
While global statistics indicate that approximately 58 million people live with Hepatitis C (Hep C), the Ministry of Health has been working assiduously towards treatment for Hep C-positive persons living in Guyana. During the discussions and negotiations with Representatives of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), specifically with those at the PAHO Strategic Treatment Fund, the health ministry has been able to acquire Hep C treatment at a reduced cost to offer free care to all Guyanese diagnosed with the infection.
PAHO set a goal to eradicate viral Hep C in the Americas by 2030, and Guyana is official, not only one step closer to reaching that target but the first Caribbean territory to implement such a programme.
In his feature address at this afternoon’s launch, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, said that Hep C screening had been boosted to ensure that new diagnoses can be made to ensure that those persons are being treated, and the Ministry has also been reaching out to persons who were previously diagnosed and were unable to access treatment because of how expensive it was.
Minister added that before the involvement of the PAHO Strategic Treatment Fund, Hep C treatment cost approximately US$2000 per patient. This is, however, now dramatically reduced to about US$160 per patient, which will be funded by the Ministry of Health.
In closing, Dr Frank Anthony expressed immense appreciation to PAHO for their involvement in achieving this milestone.
The launch was attended by Chief Medical Officer; Dr Narine Singh, PAHO/WHO Representative to Guyana; Dr Luis Codina, PAHO Advisor, Viral Hepatitis Prevention and Control; Dr Leandro Sereno, Chief of PAHO Strategic Fund for Public Health Supplies; Mr Christopher Lim, Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service; Dr Pedro Lewis, Regional Health Officers and other medical personnel.